The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business needs, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. But this also means that comparatively sparse network resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and varied repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively recent, and put together they cause a serious need for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly more performance, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering predictable high throughput, secure access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, a powerful suite of tools such as EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS tools for video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can meet real-time needs, scale to support future growth, guard vital data, and separate and manage processes to enhance network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 switches per stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's FNF solution and advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool must be used by applications and services that must run in complete isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can provide 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with little business disruption or IT team re-education.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for maximum uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE access ports.
Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, provide less performance and functionality, and in many cases can subject organizations to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to manage and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition help you to plan and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, expandability, and feature set small businesses need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to add network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 Series switches are small, stackable devices with eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of vital technology such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service, rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; PIM improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series eases integration of converged technologies and accommodates changing business environments by offering configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic set up of smart system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-grade features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise technology combines up to nine individual switches into one logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is directed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new switches or delete old members without service interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and network security assessment and validation.
Progent has broad expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your security posture.
In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
To see more information about Progent's engineering help for Cisco products, select a topic:
If you wish to ask Progent about technical expertise for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.